Survey finds public demanding more speciality food shops
Speciality food shops appear to be increasing in popularity, the latest research from small shops group ACS shows.
The ACS’s 2016 Community Barometer shows 49% of people want to see more specialist food shops compared with 30% in 2015.
Speciality food shops came top of the retailer types of which people said they wanted to see more in both years.
When asked which services had a positive impact on their areas, as judged by consumers, councillors and MPs, specialist retailers scored 29% this year – level with 2015 when retailers were asked instead of MPs.
However, restaurants overtook speciality food stores this year which fell from fifth to sixth place out of those services deemed to have the most positive impact. Post offices, convenience stores and pharmacies were viewed most favourably.
Local authority councillors viewed specialist food shops particularly positively, although less so this year compared with 2015. Some 45% of councillors viewed specialist food shops very positively last year, putting them in second place. This fell to 38% and third place this year.
The ACS used information from this year’s Community Barometer for the fifth edition of its annual Local Shop Report, providing detailed information about small stores, the people they employ and the communities that they serve.
James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “This research confirms that specialist food shops are popular parts of local communities and high streets, and customers want to see more of them.
“Local shopping areas do best when there is a diverse mix of services complementing one another, and specialist food shops play an important part in that mix.”